Wednesday 2 October 2013

Countryside Live 2013 at Lee Valley Park

Last week Little lady had a school trip to an event called Countryside Live.  We looked it up together on the internet  to give her an idea of what it was about and I found that entry was only £4 for adults and free for children and there seemed lots to do.

Little Lady came back from her trip with a corn dolly she had made for me and news of sheep shows and tortoises, so we decided to visit and see for ourselves.

Countryside Live was held in the Lee Valley park in Walthamstow Marshes and was made up of a large number of exhibitors showcasing many different aspects of English country life.  It was aimed at families with all of the activities for children being free.

We went quite late on the last day of the show and managed to miss the sheep show, but got there in time for a show with a sheep dog chasing geese (with shouts of “come by”, “lie down” and”away to me” – sheep dog commands perfectly executed by the dogs).

There were a large number of insects and animals to look at and ask questions about: tortoises, guinea pigs, calves, sheep, goats, rats, giant snails, a tarantula, eagles, owls, rabbits.

There was a giant plastic cow too which my husband decided to plonk the kids onto one by one.  This was followed by much yelling, laughter and lots of other parents queuing up to hitch their kids onto the cow as well.  Little Lady caused a scene when she asked me to take a picture of her and the baby sitting on the cow and was photo-bombed by her brothers who decided to wave their arms in front of her and pull silly faces.  She was furious and yelled at the top of her lungs at the boys, her dad and granddad to get out of the way and at me to hurry up and take the picture before the baby fell off.  Between my husband, dad-in-law and kids, we seem to be very good at causing a scene…

There were also various craftspeople and artists demonstrating their work: a bee-keeper with his hive (we could see the queen bee), a carpenter, a basket maker and a blacksmith.

Some of the items made by the carpenter.

There was also lots of information about conservation, caring for wildlife and birds, green energy and other “green” themes

One gentleman was dressed up as the Green Man of the Forest and was very friendly and happy to take pictures with my boys.

We ended the visit with the children sticking their faces through those old fashioned boards with holes cut out for your face

We were only there for about an hour and a half and that was plenty of time to see everything.  If we had decided to stay longer I would have encouraged the kids to have a go at the basket weaving or some of the games and puzzles on offer.  It was still a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon with the kids able to run free, throw hay at each other and me not having to worry about them disturbing people or getting us told off.

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